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Author Topic: What Sigma can't do for Quattro, perhaps X3F Tools and Kalpanika can.  (Read 10505 times)

capital

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So four independent software developers came up with a tool for working with Sigma's Quattro files that even though it is a dot release puts Sigma's SPP to shame.

One forum poster on DPR review posted here the following screenshot:


What is remarkable is that the Siemens star result shows resolution improvement, and the blown highlight problem is absent.

I was curious to try this out on my own DP2q files that I discussed last year in the DP2q thread.

In the comparison in the file attached below, X3F tools shows marked improvement over SPP 6.3 in resolution, see especially the grill work of the chimney that SPP glitches yet X3F Tools nails correctly.

There is also good news in that X3F tools can generate a LinearRaw file as a DNG for working in LR/ACR.


Thread on DPR with the details: http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3875524



« Last Edit: July 20, 2015, 03:37:24 am by capital »
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dumainew

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Thank you Capitol for posting this.
I went to DPR and then to X3F and downloaded the version for macs.
But I have no idea how to use it !
Has anyone tried this software ?
Can anyone take a beginner thru it ?
Thanks.
Richard
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Quentin

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Great work, but it's only a "tool" if we can use it.  It therefore needs to be adopted and built in to a future release of Sigma Photo Pro, Lightroom or similar to be of any practical use.

One cannot stress the importance of take-up of this work, by someone able to make it available for daily practical use, to the future of the entire Quattro line.   If I were Sigma, I'd be on the phone to the developers right now...

 
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Quentin Bargate, ARPS, Author, Arbitrato

xpatUSA

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1) re: the title, the actual utility is x3f_extract.exe which is part of a set called X3F Tools. The intended app called "Kalpanika" is not itself released.

2) Can't advise you on the Mac: mine is still on system 9.0 and ain't connected to the net. However, if you can find x3f_extract and run that somehow (sorry) you should get a result.

3) In Windows 'command window' I type <x3f_extract> (sans .exe) - it lists the options and usages thereof. Then I type <x3f_extract -tiff -color sRGB myfilename.X3F>. (I put the X3F in the same folder as X3F Tools). There's two options that makes it list progress during conversion or just any error messages that occur.

Good luck,

Ted
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best regards,

Ted

Alan Smallbone

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It is a nice start but they still need to deal with blotching and high iso and banding, spp still does better with those files. It would be nice if Sigma would have cooperated with them. For what they did they did a great job, the highlight recovery is great, much better than SPP. Since they released the source maybe one of the other existing raw converters will pick it up and improve it.

Alan
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Alan Smallbone
Orange County, CA

BernardLanguillier

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Sweet. This seems like a perfect match for Iridient Devrlopper.

Cheers,
Bernard

RobertJ

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For what it's worth, I've been using the x3f_extract program to produce DNG files that have been denoised (with the -denoise parameter) and then opening the DNG files in the latest Capture One Pro, and I've been blown away with how perfectly clean and sharp the files can be.

What you lose from the extraction is the crazy texture that you get in SPP (it's like Sigma is applying Tone Mapping or something in SPP).  But you also lose blotching, grain, and noise of any kind, while still being able to have super sharp files.  I feel that the denoised files from the extract, processed in Capture One can exceed anything from a Nikon D810, or even Canon 5DsR, depending on the situation.

I have all three Merrills, but no Quattros, so I've had to rely on RAW files I've found from review sites and such, but after messing around with the program, it actually makes me want to buy a Quattro, or I feel that the Quattros are actually usable cameras now!
« Last Edit: July 26, 2015, 01:47:15 am by RobertJ »
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Pete_G

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This is an interesting development. I've done a few tests with some DP2 Merrill X3F files. Going to DNG seems the best option and the -denoise switch is pretty well mandatory, unfortunately I'm getting the green hue mentioned in Roland Karlsson's DPReview post. It seems to be towards the edges of the frame rather than the centre, and it's in a different position from one shot to the next, but it makes the conversion useless unfortunately.

If they can further refine the converter and perhaps offer it as a plug-in for LR it may be what most Sigma ownners are looking for, and would buy if well priced.
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dumainew

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Hello All,
I'm using a DP2 Quattro.
Have been in touch with the people at Kalpanika to encourage them to restart their efforts.
Am also calling Sigma at their NY office to encourage them to do what it takes.
It's a fine camera. Only held back by incomplete software.
Maybe an outpouring of user support will bear fruition?
Richard
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amilewide

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Kalpanika thanks you for your feedback
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2015, 09:21:04 pm »

On behalf of the Kalpanika team, thanks to everyone for their interest in our work.  Please note that Roland, Erik and Mark are developers, and all hold PhDs.  On the other hand  I'm merely the team's trouble maker, as the existing workflow became a personal thorn in my side :)

Kalpanika's goal was to communicate our sensitivity to the workflow challenges facing Sigma/Foveon camera users, with the hope of producing a sustainable business concern, one that would reward the development team for their incredible efforts across the past year.  This was all performed through the incredibly complex task of reverse engineering, especially with the Quattro imager, as task no one else was willing to perform.  Dave Coffin and Brian Griffith have made notable contributions toward the same, and it is my understanding that both are now engaged in full time (read: paying) jobs.

We are proud of our efforts to date, but at this point, it is merely a hobby - perhaps charity work benefiting the vendor.

This is a talented team (referring to my 3 colleagues above), and IMHO it would be a shame if they could not be rewarded for their contribution, and further, be able to develop Kalpanika into a sustainable business concern.  There are many complex problems in the imaging space, and I know each of these scientists would love nothing more than to be able to work full time toward their passion.

Should anyone have suggestions on how they might be able to achieve a balance between the first and later goal, I'm sure they would appreciate hearing your thoughts.  Sigma makes a niche and affordable camera system, and under the right conditions, they can be amongst the most potent tools available for the job.

I too wish I could commit my time to this project, as I am utterly passionate about the capabilities of the Vertical Color Filter imager, but most tend the business of selling images and prints.

These 3 are very worthy IMHO, and are continuing to resolve know issues and advance the state of the VCA imager.  Stay tuned.

Blue Skies,

Scott

------------------------
Scott Roberts
Business Development (Volunteer)

Kalpanika
Sturgeon Bay, WI USA
+1 920 606 1903

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Scott
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